Following a two-year outreach effort that gathered input from dozens of community organizations, leaders, and descendent families, the Enrichmond Foundation unveiled its master restoration plan for Historic Evergreen Cemetery in Richmond on February 29.
The plan, which is available for download on Enrichmond’s website, provides a framework for decision making and focuses on how to balance the needs of historic and natural resources with modern day requirements and regulations. It outlines 32 strategies for the effort, covering topics such as records management, site stabilization, environmental protection, mobility, infrastructure, accessibility, storytelling, and security. Altogether, the plan estimates it will cost roughly $19 million to implement the strategies.
Enrichmond unveiled the plan at an event at Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site in downtown Richmond. Speakers included Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney along with representatives of Enrichmond, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, and the National Park Service.
“These spaces and the remains of those buried there are assets to our community—treasures that help us remember the discriminatory challenges these souls faced when they were alive and while they rested,” said Mayor Stoney. “It is long overdue that we protect these spaces … and it is our commitment as a city that we will step up and do our part.”
“We have followed in the footsteps of some amazing people,” said Enrichmond Executive Director John Sydnor. “They have been the organizations and individuals who have preserved and protected these places before and hopefully afterward as we move forward on our master plan.”
VOF Executive Director Brett Glymph added, “A true understanding of American history and our democracy cannot be understood without places like Evergreen that record the story of a people whose struggle for freedom and equality is at the heart of our democracy.”
To learn more about the effort at Evergreen, or to donate or get involved as a volunteer, visit https://enrichmond.org/evergreen-cemetery/.